U.S. Volunteers to Destroy Syrian Chemical Weapons

The operation would destroy up to 500 tons of weapons aboard an American vessel

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Mohamed Abdullah / Reuters

A U.N. chemical weapons expert holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus, August 29, 2013.

The U.S. has volunteered to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons aboard a ship, in order to meet an international deadline that would prevent a military strike on the war-torn country.

Weapons would be destroyed using hydrolysis on a U.S. vessel at a yet-to-be-determined Mediterranean port, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Saturday. OPCW spokesman Michael Luhan declined to specify which vessel was to be used.

The plan is to destroy 500 tons of chemical weapons, including nerve agents, Al Jazeera reports. The operation is a part of an international deal to meet a Dec. 31 ┬ádeadline to rid Syria from chemical weapons. Syria’s civil war has lasted three years, killing more than 100,000 people.

[Al Jazeera]